Chapters, My

8 10 2013

I’ve noticed in my nearly 30 years on this earth that our lives are made up of chapters, much like a book.

For most of us, it is outlined by major events in our lives.  For the military folk it is broken into their tours, as one tour ends, so begins a new phase in their lives.

I would say that I have had the usual ups and downs and life events in each chapter of my life.  High school and into the Navy was the first chapter, the longest, and maybe one of the most important.  It made me who I am today, and it is what shaped my values and codes.  However, the events since then have transformed me into so much more.

When I joined the Navy I was a completely different person.  I think I had always sought that structure in life, everything having a place and a recognized order.  This is what the Navy provided.  After boot camp, where I learned to just keep your mouth shut and follow directions…sometimes blindly, I went to school in Florida.  This is where I continued to learn how to not always speak my mind while I sometimes learned the hard way and rarely saw the “bigger picture” that everyone always talked about.  I just thought the military would be a four year job, and I could learn about myself, and start my college fund.  This is what I kept in mind for four years.  When I arrived in Hawaii to my first duty station, I was picked up for ceremonial guard where I performed in several burials and retirements.  This is where my sense of history and heritage began, meeting all kinds of people, all with individual stories and deep respect for what the Navy had provided them.  After a few months I headed up to my actual job.  It was not what I had hoped for, and did not prove to be as rewarding as I had hoped.  I was junior ranking, and I was so hungry for responsibility and the chance to lead people that I became discontented with my position and people telling me that some goals were just not possible.  I had some terrible leadership, and it is from them that I learned what not to do with my future Sailors.  I made a few long-lasting friends and got to explore Hawaii’s islands and also see Japan and the Philippines.

My second tour brought me to the middle east; the tiny island of Bahrain in the Arabian Gulf.  Yes, I actually had to google the place before agreeing to take on the orders.  Here I had an extremely rewarding tour and learned many leadership traits from several leaders who were in and out of the command, as it was a one year billet.  Although we worked our asses off and had many a 16-18 hour day, I wouldn’t go back and change a thing.  The work we put in was worth the dividends…but I did learn that when accepting high stress billets you need to be prepared.  I also learned how to live alone and depend on myself, so I came out much stronger on the other end.  I had time to start blogging and also get into fitness. For my next duty station, I knew it had to be a ship, in order to ensure my transition into the next higher paygrade, and also broaden my experience.

My most recent chapter brought me to the mighty sea….where Sailors belong, right?  My very first PCS tour afloat.  By far this has been the most rewarding tour yet.  I have learned so much from my chain of command as they have supported me in every move and decision I have made.  I have found my place in the Navy and they have empowered me to move forward with my career, which is what I will pass on to my Sailors.  The feeling I had when I was in Hawaii and I wanted so much to be the one making things happen and having those Sailors in my charge depending me was finally here.  It is unfortunate, but in the military you have to attain a certain rank to be put into positions of leadership.  Maybe I wasn’t ready in Hawaii, who knows, but I was  able to grow into the shoes that my previous mentors had left for me.

Through my travels in the Navy I have tried to date but never really made it work…some of the relationships bled over from one chapter to the next, but I could never force myself to choose my personal life over the military.  Which sounds pretty sad when saying it out loud.  Many a person has asked me what will be there for me after the Navy……the military or my family?  We all know the answer, however the military has yet to let me down as some of the men boys I have encountered….whether by simple incompatibly or pure self destruction.  Maybe the next chapter in my life will bring prince charming but for now I will stick with my Navy life and travels.  I am definitely open to any suitor that can handle this!

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Lows and Highs

3 08 2013

I was home this week for originally my sister’s birthday party. A couple days before my flight, my mom called and told me my grandpa’s health was declining quickly and to be prepared for what might happen.

Gpa had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s several years back, probably seven years ago. He had been off and on medications to help with uncontrollable movements and decline in overall mental and physical health. It was hard to witness and I’m certain even more difficult to live. He was in a few nursing homes and my family in MO would visit him frequently. He had recently been put on morphine for the pain and had been unable to eat.

My sister had planned a birthday celebration last Saturday and had put a lot of time into organization. I am not able to come home frequently so it was also a perfect time to see everyone. So, we decided to go ahead with the party. It was a lot of fun and so nice to see everyone! It was themed “Stache Bash,” so we had mustache party favors, decorations, an even a mustache piñata. There’s something so comforting about catching up with old friends, meeting new ones, and yard games.

The next morning Gpa passed away at 3am. And as it turns out, it was really good timing for something terrible to happen because I was home, my mom was home because she knew I would be there over the weekend, and a few other family members were randomly in the area. Sometimes it takes a death to make you realize what your goals are and what is important in life. Family is everything, but in times of work stress or general life milestones I sometimes forget my roots. Family and friends are there for you regardless of your success or failure.

We banded together this week and accomplished what is normally a difficult thing for families to go through. I believe Gpa is in a better place and not suffering anymore. I also got to learn a lot about him, through his former athletes, friends, and family. Funny stories, weird quirks, and the legacy he left behind as a leader and coach for 26 years. He was so respected and those he coached were brought to tears remembering the lessons he instilled in them.

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We went to visit the school he coached at; a new gym was built about seven years ago and they named it after him. They had his state titles hanging, and we asked about how they have been doing since he retired over 20 years ago. The principal told us their students had won exactly one state title since Coach Samson ran the athletic department!

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I would like to remember Gpa how those he trained remember him. Though I never personally watched him coach, he did teach me and my sister how to play a mean game of cards, and helped me with my golf swing and endless games of trivial pursuit.

We went out to eat before my trip back to CA, and as I wait on my flight, I am focusing on the positive. I am returning refocused and backed by the love and support of my family and friends. So nice to be home and celebrate loved ones past and present!





El Hombre

7 07 2013

I have been longing for a new hairstyle lately. I debated on shaving a part of my head…kind of like Ellie Goulding. Look that crap up, pretty badass. However, not so sure I could successfully pull it off and also not positive I would retain my enlistment in the Navy. SO, thus came the “the hombre.”

image-6 copyI got a Groupon a few months ago for a salon named Zina G in Hillcrest. It was $50 for highlights, haircut, and deep conditioning.  I showed up and the client before me ran about 20 minutes late, which was fine. I’m sure it happens a lot.  When I sat down, Zina herself was the stylist, and I explained to her I knew the Groupon was for highlights, and asked if I could just pay more and get an hombre (dye on top and blonde foils on bottom). She said she didn’t have time for that but would do what she could. Before the pic on the left up there I had blond hair, so what she ended up doing was dying the top 2/3 light brown…but what happened was the dye seeped down into the bulk of my hair and I ended up having just plain brown hair. Which, was not what I wanted. Also, she charged $20 for  “longer hair,” which she had disclosed when I called for the appointment. But If she only dyed the top 2/3 of my hair, what did the long hair factor really matter??

ANYWHO. Long story short (too late), it was misadvertised and don’t tell the client something you can’t follow through with. And if it doesn’t turn out like you said, you should offer a refund or re-do and probably not charge $70 for a simple color.

I was in desperate need for a SHAZAM! hairdo, so today I ended up going to Fantastic Sams in Santee.  This is a rarity, as I rely on Groupons or specialized boutiques for my hair. I am scared going to Great Clips or any walk-in hair salon because I feel like they are all brand new stylists that don’t have experience. However, I should probably just eat my words, because they did a perfect job! I went in and they were able to get me in after about 20 minutes. A girl named Shantel has done the hombre before, and took on the challenge. It took about an hour and a half and she was able to foil the ends and make them perfectly blond, with a nice blend, and also great conversation! I will most definitely go back to her and also suggest her to my friends.

1.  Moral of the story…don’t judge a salon by it’s cover.

2.  Hombre is the new blond!!

Love,

~Girl With a Curl~





Memorial Day

8 06 2012

A bit late on this one, but wanted to share.

I got to go home this past Memorial weekend to Missurah and see the ol fam dam. I got to see the new addition onto Mom’s house. A 4 season porch designed after the Ruby House porch. If you haven’t seen the Ruby porch, it has a wood floor and white wood-slotted ceiling, beaut! And all old looking and shit. It’s quite comfortable and relaxing. Windows all around the sides and one of the walls is almost completely windows and as you look out you can see a farm field and lots of green trees and grass. I forgot how the midwest was beautifully green in the summer! A drastic change from the winter there. San Diego has gorgeous weather all year round, but it doesn’t quite get a rich green.

Anywho, after a short visit at the Mum’s we were off to Missurah. I was only home for four days, but we did quite a bit with our time. I got to see my friend that’s pregnant with twins! She’s due in August and I cannot wait to see those beautiful little babies.

I got to meet my sister’s boyfriend for the first time. They’ve been dating since Feb, and I just now met him though I’ve heard a lot about him. I totally see what she’s saying, he’s a pretty stand up guy and a really good fit for her. From what I gathered over a couple days anyway. I’m really happy for her, she deserves one perfect guy!

On Sunday we went up to IA to visit with some family and go around to a couple graves to put flowers on them. The first cemetery we visited had over two hundred flags flying! It was a pretty touching sight.

I couldn’t help but think about my friend Mike who gave his life nearly a year ago fighting in this crazy war we are in. Memorial Day is a day to remember those that have passed as well as those military members that gave their life freely and willingly for this country. He died doing what he loved and I am proud to say I knew him. I haven’t been up to see his grave yet, but I will make it there some day soon to say goodbye. Wednesday was his birthday, actually. He would have been just 26, way too young to be lost. I will never forget what he gave so that we could keep on doing what we are doing in this world.

On Monday we made it around to a few more cemeteries, there were flowers on nearly every grave, and it was a beautiful sight to see all the love for those that we have lost. I got to visit Granny and Papa’s grave, they rest up on a hill and overlook Horseshoe Hill, their property and rolling Missouri farmland. It’s quite a beautiful view. Next to them is my friend’s mother who we lost to cancer recently. We also visited a friend’s grave who died nearly ten years ago, though it feels like yesterday. He was so young and we lost him unexpectedly. You can never really prepare yourself for someone’s death. I think no matter how one goes it hurts, and you never forget about them. I think about so many people daily that I wish were still here. But that’s the way life is I suppose. I know God has a plan for everyone…but some shit I just don’t understand. It would seem that this Memorial Day cemetery run was sad and downtrodden, it was actually a wonderful day to spend with my family -living- and also my family and friends that are no longer around.

It was also good to see my mom. She was sick earlier this year and all I could offer was a phone call to support her during that time. It’s painful to love someone so much and not be able to be there in person for them. As much as you can email, call, and write, it just never seems to be enough. So I was relieved, happy, comforted, and blessed to be able to wrap my arms around her and girl talk about life and catch up. I really life that lady.

This was a long post and I’m realizing that it’s quite bothersome to type and have long nails. I just recently started to do the whole “long nails thing.” They aren’t fake, but my entire life I have cut them short because it was easy and I would always break them trying to get into some kind of food source or just being clumsy….but last summer I decided to give the ol long nail a try and I really like them long. I can’t imagine trying to type with acrylic nails on though. That would be hard as hell.





Moving pains.

10 11 2011

Oh…my…





No More Ruster

6 11 2011

The day has come. I said goodbye to my trusty Subaru this week. She had been good to me, but it was time for an upgrade. Plus, dealing with the standard transmission in San Diego traffic was…..a doozy…

So, me and my friend Kitty went to a few dealers last week around San Diego to peep some cars. We test drove a used BMW and I’d have to say I was surprisingly unimpressed. You think a BMW would have a smooth ride, all the bells and whistles, etc. But this thing just didn’t fit with me. It was O.K., but if I’m paying for a luxury car, that’s exactly what I expect to have. The ride was deece but it was just like any other 4 door sedan, and the buttons on the radio and the controls inside weren’t set up very well…

So, we moved on. We went up to Carlsbad to check out a used Audi A4, and as it turns out it had already sold (take the ad off the internet then, dingbats 🙂 ) This led us to the Bob Baker VW/Subaru dealership across the road.

We met a nice gentleman named Joseph, who’s last name was the same exact last name of my boyfriend’s. What are the odds… it was fate, as it turns out. I test drove a VW Jetta and a VW Jetta TDI. The ride was smooth and it has some crazy torque so the acceleration blew the ‘Ru out of the water, it was clean, new, and smelled very nice. Plus I missed having a car car, vice a crossover. I don’t need that big thing anyway…Not being pregnant or considering kids at the moment, it’s really not what I am in the market for. So, the Jetta TDI it was. I picked her up on none other than Halloween, had an inservice with my new friend Joseph, signed some papers with Ron, the finance/paperwork guru, and I was off! (btw, Ron’s father was born in the same town my sister lives in in Missouri- once again- freakish)

I am l-o-v-i-n-g my new car. Love, a strong word you say. But I am indeed in love. With a car.

So me and Kitty decided to joy ride over to Chick-Fil-A for dinner. We had never been, and we decided today was the day. We enjoyed our spicy chicken and waffle fries, quite the delight, and headed back to the sparkling Jetta. We hopped in…….and the car wouldn’t start.

The battery was fine, because the lights worked and such….but nothing as far as the ignition….Like, nothing. We tried for 20 mins to let it sit, retry, let it sit again, retry….No luck. So, I call up the dealership and relay to them the issue, and Mister Joseph says to try and pry out the chip that goes into the security system….which was now blinking blue. I was thinking to myself, won’t this trigger the alarm?? And then we might really be in a pickle… I had no luck with that. It was in there to stay. I even tried with a flat screwdriver to get that jobby out. Nothin. So, he told me to call another guy who was the one who had put the chip in an hour prior. I called said chip man and he forwarded my phone number to the security company and said they would be in touch. 30 mins later…no call.

So I called him back, and he had gone home for the day…really dude? A poor man named Scott then answered the phone and was trying to help the sitch. I was obviously pretty annoyed/angry at this point and this guy got an earful. He was calm and reassuring and promised me the company would be on the way in 45 mins. Me and Kitty sat around for another hour trying to pass time by taking a little stroll (thankfully we weren’t broken down in the ghetto westsiiiide), snapping goofy pics, girl talk, and stalking a gentleman who worked at Chick-Fil-A who’s hair looked like french fries….

Then we started a game called “Guess which vehicle pulling into the Chick-Fil-A parking lot is our repair man.” We stared down a man in a pickup truck just sitting in his car for a good 15 mins….we were sure this was our guy. Then he pulled out and left without even getting out of the vehicle. Strange. Annnnyway a geo metro, circa 1989 pulls up with dents in the side and a not-so-clean looking man in the driver’s seat. I shouted, “This is our man!” …..to which he rolls up slowly and says, “Looks like you ladies are waiting for someone.” This was the guy. Go figure.

So, the repair man jimmy rigged the security system and said it was installed incorrectly and I would need to call the company and schedule a time for them to come out and install a new one.

Not how I wanted to spend my Halloween afternoon, but I guess it wasn’t all that bad, and I was in good company. Anyhow, I am loving my new car and hoping it doesn’t get stolen and turn up in Mexico before I get the security system properly installed…

Out with the old:

"Ruster"

In with the new:

"Drake"





So, what do you do?

22 09 2011

I am one of those people who haven’t really decided what they want to do when they grow up.

I am nearly halfway done with my Navy career. Well, 7 years into it at least. Everyone says once you reach ten you might as well stay in another ten and retire. It’s the easy and safe thing to do, and normally the best choice. Career-wise anyway. But sometimes you just get tired of doing one thing for several years. Thankfully in the Navy there are several roads you can go down with my specific job, as well as moving every 2-4 years. Which is typically looked down on, but when you are single and wanting to travel and experience the world, it’s the best thing that can happen.

However, as I’m reaching the ripe old age of 27 next month, I’m reevaluating my life. Well, it’s not that serious but as my move to San Diego comes closer I’m excited for the new opportunities.

I’ve always wanted to go to Law School, and actually got out of the Navy in ’08 to pursue said school. I ended up growing tired of waiting for the next school year to roll around and decided to join back up…after an 8 month hiatus. I missed the structure, the camaraderie, and the free travel that the Navy offered. Luckily they wanted me back, and here I am.

Beauty School is another road I would like to go down. I am very interested in learning how to cut, color, style hair, do nails, massages, etc. I’ve always wanted to do it. Maybe they’ll have night school in CA.

Professional photography. This is something that I have wanted to do for a long time, ever since I was a kid. Over the years I have gone through several cameras, but it’s really about having that eye for good shots, vice a camera that costs $3000. That will only get you so far. And if you don’t have the right subject/scape, that ritzy camera is pretty worthless. Here’s some stuff I’ve shot, if you’d like to check out my FB page: [http://www.facebook.com/pages/JimmieJack-Photography/101623036557797]

Culinary Arts. I’d like to know how to cook, like real chef-ery shit. I realize this will be an expensive lesson in the kitchen because I don’t ever plan on cooking for the masses or being a professional chef…but I think it will pay off. Plus, learning how to cook things well is fun.

Oh, and if I could somehow swing one of those jobs with Contiki or another major tour company to be a tour guide in some fabulous overseas country, preferably Europe, that would be a job to die for!

See what I mean? All over the place, and I am no longer a young buck. I’m supposed to be making life decisions and shit. I say, do what you want, but you must have the means to get there. So until I can get my feet firmly planted in one category, I will continue to dabble =)